T.I.M.E. Stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Product #ASMSCTS01US

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Seamless and easy to play...
Times stories is one of the best games i have played in years. It's beautiful to look at, simple but well made components, and a slew of add ons for your enjoyment. Time stories has that seamless gameplay we all have been wanting for a while. As a fan of rpgs and video games this blends well with all types of people. You have characters to choose from (which change from case to case) a neat storyline to investigate, dice to chuck for certain challenges and to top it all off...you may get cool stuff to cary over from game to game depending on how well you do. The may very well be my new gateway game to introduce the tabl top scene to new people. Cannot give this game enough praise. Well done. My one very small complaint is that the replay value is somewhat low. After you figure out the story, or puzzles it loses it's punch with future runs. But because the game is really fun you can probably get at 3 full runs before you tire of each case.
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Review by Aaron on 12/12/2016
T.IIIIIIIIIIIIII.M.E. is on Your Side - A Board So Never Bored (Mostly Spoiler Free) Review of T.I.M.E. Stories
Quick Word
Being a Theatre Major and having lived for a few years in the Film Industry in LA, I am really attracted games with a rich theme and a story telling aspect. Every single thing I read on T.I.M.E. Stories appealed to that aspect of my nature. So when I got my hands on this game I immediately called a buddy up and did a two player run through of the Asylum scenario (we alternated shared custody of third player piece between rounds). I have since then hosted another play through where I contributed very little but mostly just sat there for rules assistance and fielding general questions.

Brief Game Synopsis
T.I.M.E. Stories is a scenario based story telling game in which you and the other players on your team, in a queer blend of Sliders and Quantum Leap, travel in time and assume the role of an avatar of person who had been living during the situation you are investigating.
The currency of the game is time units and you sacrifice time units to travel as a team to new rooms, revealing beautiful tableaus which you activate and read by placing your marker on the card spot. Some cards trigger challenges, some puzzles, some just have story text. You communicate the information on the card in your own words (unless another player is on the space with you, in which case they can read the card as well).

End game arrives via the card text or when your team runs out of time causing you to reset the scenario, this time better equipped with the memory of the revealed text from the failed run-through.

Toys With Rules
The rulebook is nicely laid out but I found the rules spotty at best during some parts so I downloaded the updated rulebook and read through the FAQ which cleared up my issues. What is odd about this is the rules themselves aren’t overly complicated or confusing, yet tiny mistakes can really hurt the experience as a whole. Since this is pretty much a one-shot play through per scenario, you have to be extremely cautious before leaping into the game. I would recommend watching a few of the rules videos after reading the revised playbook to ensure you fully understand the game.

Boards ‘N Bits
The artwork with this game is simply breath taking. Yes it can be graphic at times, but I am fairly conservative in my taste and found nothing to salacious or uncomfortable. Then again, my mom had me graduating from Goosebumps to Stephen King in third grade, so my wife tells me I am not the best at determining appropriate playing age.

Regardless, the stark, minimalist approach to the board and bits makes you feel as if you really are in a sanitized version of the future. Also, it created something eerie in the setup that was reminiscent of the scenes in that old Bruce Willis / Brad Pitt (his best role ever) movie 12 Monkeys.

The artwork on the cards are exquisite and there were more than one moment where the unexpected visual or creepiness of the art caused myself or one of the other players to jump, or laugh nervously, or throw hands up in the air and proclaim, “well that just sucks a big bag of poo“….so yeah, needless to say, the art evokes some strong emotion, but in a glorious and disturbing way.

The insert that came with the box allows for “saving” so you can track your progress between games and scenarios, which was a wonderful concept that was poorly executed. My insert was crushed before I opened the box (which had not signs of wear and tear itself). I taped it up, used it once, said “forget about it” in my best wheezy, New York tough guy voice and tossed the insert. I then just organized the bits in a plano box that fits into the original box nicely along with some Ziploc bags to “save” the game if I need to. There is also room for the additional scenarios which I would love to get some day, when my wife will allow me to break $20 on a game she thinks I will only play through once.

My Thoughts
I have a lot to say on the Asylum scenario itself but I won’t because spoilers and all that. Suffice it to say, I was unsure as to what I should expect expect, but was more than pleasantly surprised. I very much like the system, I think it inventive and something I look forward to seeing change and grow as more scenarios come out.

Having played Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, I can’t help but to wonder if Space Cowboys will ever put any thought into developing an app for the content to cut down on the cost of buying new decks (I know I know, that is a blasphemous thought as bringing technology into the sacred art of boardgaming is a damnable offense. Sorry already, jeepers).

I will say I like how this games scales for a few reasons. In a two/three player game (which I understand that the way I played was a little different) it is almost easier to exchange the information as it is a back and forth, but also heartbreaking as you have to willingly sacrifice more time to cover the ground you lose by having the additional player(s). It creates a fun balance. The four player game saw some funny moments for me as I witnessed a game of telephone gone wrong, and people not catching the import of what one person said; the tradeoff was more cards were revealed opening up more of the story quicker.

Son’s Thoughts
Obviously, my usual gaming partner, my six year old son, is a little too young for this game so here is what the guy from my four player session who had guessed the puzzle correctly had to say:

Man, the mechanics behind the game are so streamlined and unique. I have never really seen anything like it. The game itself was extremely challenging and looking back over the cards post game was kidney-punching infuriating as you notice some of the stuff missed by some of the people who overlooked or shrugged off the valuable information they were being given. I really cannot wait for you to pony up the cash and buy us another adventure.

(Yes, my friends can suck sometimes).

Pro’s
+ Super rewarding endgame
+ Unique and beautiful components and execution
+ Easy to teach

Con’s
- Legitimate limited replayability
- Mature themes could be a turnoff for some
- That rewarding endgame experience can be tarnished by the time die (the moral is, never let me roll for anything…ever)

Purchase, Play, or Pass
This is a gamble. I would say if you can find a friend who bought it throw him $6 bucks and give it a whirl (helping pay for the cost of the expansion is the right thing to do man…). So I guess I am saying Play if you can find someone who owns it. Purchase as long as you are okay with justifying to yourself it may be a one shot experience. I think it was Zee on Dice Tower who pointed out the game costs less than you would spend on an evening out and you get a longer time to enjoy it (it may have not been Zee, he is just the one that usually has the most of an influence on me).
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Review by Keva B on 9/13/2016
A great game that I recommend to anyone who enjoys playing tabletop games.
This game is a lot of fun. Very immersive, the artwork and game flow work well to pull you in. I played with 3 other people, none of whom have ever played a D&D or other rpg before and they all loved it. We've started on the first expansion now (the Marcy Case), but do to our 2 toddlers and various work schedules finding time to finish can be difficult. The designers do make it as painless as possible to pause and put the game away completely without loosing your spot. You just have to remember all the little tid-bits and clues you learned the first time through.

My biggest disappointment is that the plastic insert for the box that holds all your pieces (and allows you to put the game away mid-game) was cracked in a few spots the first time I opened the game. It is made out of a very thin plastic. For the price of the game I think they could have increased the durability by adding another mm of thickness to the molded plastic; it's still usable though. Hopefully it doesn't get worse. All the game pieces, on the other hand, are good quality. Some pieces (including the dice, I believe) are made from wood. The rest from thick cardboard. Nice board. Despite the size of the board and the amount of pieces, any dining-room table will be plenty big enough to play on.

I see a lot of people comment that it cost too much for them, but I'm telling you it is completely worth it. Easily cheaper than going to the movies, or getting dinner for 2, this game provides hours of unique fun. This should not be approached as just a board game. Think of it as an adventure that you take while staying in the comfort of your home.
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Review by DanriccM on 6/14/2016
Role Playing meets Co-Op meets Story Telling
Having played this game with 3 other people (1 other gamer, 2 non-gamers), it was a huge hit for everyone. Very light on mechanics (your stats tell you how many dice to roll--was your number larger than the Challenge? Yer good to go) but incredibly rich on theme. So much so, that my wife (1 of the non-gamers), was having a blast playing her character.

One of my favorite mechanics of this game is that when you go to a room, if you are by yourself, you can't read word for word the card you are encountering. Instead, you have to describe what is happening to the rest of your team. If someone else wants to see exactly what is on the card, they have to "travel" to that area which costs time...and time is quite limited.

Anyway, that one mechanic lends itself very much to the role playing element and our whole group got swept up into the game.

We didn't "beat the game" on our first play session and it may take a few more. And that's the one downside...it's a consumable game. Once your group knows the appropriate Decision-Tree in the game, it's just a matter of getting the keys and clues and tokens and what not.

BUT, I highly recommend this game because of it's immersive experience. I tend to value things based on the Movie Expense Equation: Will this give me as much value as going with my three friends to the movies? And the answer is resoundingly YES. In my opinion, it's better than a trip to the movies. And a few evenings playing this one scenario has me excited for the upcoming expansions.

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Review by Anthony on 12/10/2015
Beautiful and elegant
This game has one of the most beautiful and elegant board I've ever seen .
The story is really intriguing and involves everyone.
Guaranteed fun for new players and experienced players !
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Review by Marcel on 10/17/2015

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